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Crews begin work on 4.5 miles of bikeway from downtown to Hillcrest

Fifth Ave and Ash St - Construction on Northwest Side.JPEG
Fifth Ave & Ash St - Construction on Southwest Side.JPEG
Fourth and Fifth Avenue Bikeways Rendering - Fifth & Juniper - North View.jpg
Posted at 2:18 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 17:18:41-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Construction crews have started on about 4.5 miles of bikeways and safety improvements stretching from downtown to Hillcrest.

The projects include separated and buffered bikeways on Fourth and Fifth Avenues, safety improvements such as lighting, upgraded landscaping, and improved crosswalks for people with disabilities and pedestrians.

In all, the project will cost $12.2 million and cross from B St. in downtown, through Bankers Hill, and to Washington St. in Hillcrest.

"This project will make it safer and easier for people to walk and bike along commonly traveled streets to visit local businesses and reach destinations such as Downtown San Diego, Balboa Park, and Hillcrest," said SANDAG Vice Chair and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear. "San Diegans are walking and biking more during the pandemic and this project will provide safe and convenient options for people to continue to choose active transportation, even when the health crisis is far behind us."

The new bikeways are part of the Uptown Bikeways effort proposed in 2012, meant to connect Uptown, Old Town, Mission Valley, Downtown San Diego, North Park, and Balboa Park.

SANDAG says community members worried about the potential loss of parking due to the project worked with officials to find solutions, and ultimately were able to provide a surplus of parking.

The agency adds that it has modified construction schedules to best minimize its impact on businesses currently using temporary outdoor setups to operate under coronavirus restrictions along Fourth and Fifth Avenues.

Construction on the project is expected to be finished in 2022.

During construction, nearby residents and businesses can expect intermittent lane closures, parking restrictions, construction noise, and dust. Most work will be completed Monday through Friday, holidays excluded, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., and occasionally on Saturdays.